tv U.S. House of Representatives Legislative Business CSPAN June 13, 2016 6:00pm-7:01pm EDT
multiyear strategy for caribbean engagement. we want to see how a diplomatic and development efforts are focused on the caribbean with particular attention to energy security, the rule of law, efforts to combat drug trafficking, and ways to enhance economic cooperation. we want so improve our diplomatic efforts with respect to key votes at the united nations and the organization of american states. the best way to put together a new strategy towards the caribbean is to tap into the large caribbean community here in the united states. i did that for the four years that i was chairman of the western hemisphere subcommittee on the foreign affairs committee. this bill underscores the importance of consulting with the community, promoting their involvement in the caribbean.
commissions h.r. 49 two reports from the g.a.o., one which evaluates the basin scurelt initiative and i have long believed that we do a disservice to our country by having no physical diplomatic presence in five of the countries in the eastern .aribbean i have long said it makes no sense for us to continue to continue to conduct pelosi from our embassy. they said you can't conduct diplomacy from a bunker and you cannot diplomacy hundreds of miles away and we need to ensure a diplomatic presence in the eastern caribbean.
china has it. venezuela has it. we should have it. it's especially appropriate we are considering this bill in june, which is national caribbean-american heritage month. as the president said, quote, the bonds between the united states and the caribbean remain strong, both rooted in similar legacies of trial and triumph and our fartives have advanced to come forward by our shared dedication to foster opportunity and forging a brighter future. i couldn't agree more. so i urge my colleagues to support this measure and i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentlelady from florida. ms. ros-lehtinen: i continue to reserve and i will close at the appropriate time. mr. engel: it's now my pleasure to yield two minutes to the the gentlewoman from california, ms. lee, a leader on the caribbean
and author of resolution honoring caribbean-american heritage month. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized for two minutes. ms. lee: first, let me take a moment to offer my condolences nd prayers to the victims in orlando. these acts have shattered the lives of so many people and our response must be not only in words, but also in deeds and in actions. my congressional district has and will continue its outpouring of sympathy and support for the people of orlando and we stand ready to assist in whatever way is needed. let me now take a moment to thank chairman royce and congresswoman ros-lehtinen and congresswoman engel for yielding and for your tremendous leadership on the foreign affairs committee. and i have the honor to serve on
the subcommittee of the foreign affairs committee for several years. we talked early on about the importance of the caribbean as a region and how we must make it a priority in our foreign policy so today, i want to thank our congresswoman and ros-lehtinen. and thanks for your words. it has taken a while to get to this point but thank goodness we are doing this in a bipartisan way and i thank you very much for that. as the lead co-sponsor, i stand in strong support of h.r. 4939, the bill would enhance relationships by requiring the secretary of state in coordinator with the administrator to submit a strategy for u.s. strategy. and i just want to again thank
both sides -- and i remember when we had to work to get the caribbean to be included in pepfar legislation and programs and funding. so that was a major step. this is a huge step now in moving forward. this bill is very timely. it's a very important bill. long time supporter of the caribbean and free quent visitor to the region, i'm proud to see us -- can i have another minute? the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. lee: i attended school in grenada and i'm a frequent visitor and i would like to see us pass the bill on june 1. since congress passed h. con. res. 75 which was referenced and i authored that in february of 2006 when president bush was in
office and he signed it and since then president obama has issued a proclamation recognizing june as caribbean-american month. they have contributed to the fabric of the united states. as we celebrate this month, we are reminded of the relationship between the united states and/or caribbean neighbors and this bill does this. h.r. 439 strengthens and enhances ties between the u.s. and the caribbean by promoting energy, sustainability, diplomatic relations. caribbean countries have been neglected in our foreign policies. this bill makes the car wean region a priority. so, mr. speaker, now is the time to recommit our strong priorities with our caribbean neighbors. we must revitalize and enhance our outreach to our caribbean
neighbors. this bill does just that. i urge an aye vote. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentleman from new york. mr. engel: i now would like toll yield to the gentleman from rhode island, mr. cicilline, three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from rhode island is recognized for three minutes. mr. cicilline: thank you for yielding to me. before i begin my remarks, i extend my prayers and sympathy to the people of orlando. my constituents, like all americans are broken hearted that this monstrous act of violence visited upon a community gathered together to enjoy friendship and community and celebrate an act of coward is that has suffered so much pain and to our community all across this country and i speak
for everyone that we stand ready to keep our communities safe. mr. speaker, i rise in strong my home f h.r. 4939, state of rhode island is home to caribbean americans particularly from the dominican republic and haiti and other countries and it's critical to strengthen our relationship with these countries not because of the national security interests we share but the interests of our constituents and their ties. the proximity has ensured strong linkages. h.r. 4939 will enhance this relationship. our interest in the region are diverse, including economic and security concerns. and despite the importance to the united states, the caribbean gets overlooked as we deal with concerns and threats from other regions of the world. they are important nations in the organization of american states.
increasing engagements with the caribbean region and the community in the united states as well as the private sector in the united states and caribbean will be beneficial to everyone. h.r. 4939 will enhance diplomatic relations and support security integration efforts to help reduce violence and drug trafficking and and multi public and combat threats. i thank the chairman and ranking member and the subcommittee chair and all the co-sponsors of this important bill and i urge my colleagues to support this legislation. and with that, i thank the gentleman from new york and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from rhode island yields back. the gentleman from new york. mr. engel: if there are no other speakers on the other side i'll close and i yield myself such
time as i may consume. in april of 2009, i joined president obama in trinidad and tobego for the summit of americas and i was chairman of the western hemisphere subcommittee at the time. at that time, the president said, the energy, the diversity of the caribbean people inspires us all and an important part of what we share. seven years later, those words continue to ring true and in that time, we have made a lot of progress. the caribbean basin security initiative and the caribbean energy security initiative have brought us closer to our partners. and let me say that vice president biden deserves a great deal of progress. but more needs to be done.
secretary kerry is in the dominican republic for the general assembly meeting and we are confronting serious issues at this meeting including the crisis in venezuela walla. the countries represented there will play a major role and the more we work in partnership with these governments, the better. they may be small countries but they pack a big punch. this legislation will keep us moving in the right direction when it comes to these partnerships. i was very honored to introduce the bill and honored that we have strong support on both sides of the aisle. i want to thank chairman royce and representative ros-lehtinen, both excellent members and stalwarts of our committee and another example of bipartisan. and i'm proud of that. this will keep us moving in the
right direction. i urge a yes vote and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentlewoman from florida is recognized. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you so much, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i have remaining. mr. speaker, i thank once again, ranking member engel for the tremendous leadership and all of his efforts that promote stronger relationships with nations within our own hemisphere. i have the distinct pleasure to represent south florida in congress. we have many, many constituents in my district from the caribbean and part of what makes south florida so unique is the contribution of the community. what we have here during caribbean-american heritage month is the opportunity to trengthen.
and focusing most of our attention on the many areas that rightfully demand our attention overseas, but it would be in long-term interests as well as our near term interests to develop mutually beneficial and strategic alliances close to home with the caribbean nations. think about the economic opportunities that we could have in working with our neighbors. we have a great opportunity with this bill to help them diversify while staring down burdensome barriers that are preventing them from direct foreign investment and trade and that can lead to greater growth and more stability for the caribbean and for the united states as a whole. i urge my colleagues to support passage of this important bill. i look forward to continuing to work with mr. engel and mr.
royce to develop even stronger ties to our neighbors in the hemisphere. and with that, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from florida yields back the balance of her time. the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 4939 as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 -- ms. ros-lehtinen: i request the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. those in favor of taking this vote by the yeas and nays will rise and remain standing until a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this question will be postponed. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from florida seek recognition? ms. ros-lehtinen: i move the house suspend the rules and pass .res. 43 as amended.
the clerk: house resolution 34 , expressing concerning recording system attic state sanctioned organ harvesting from non consenting in the peoples republic of china including members of the falun gong. the speaker pro tempore: the the gentlewoman from florida, ms. ros-lehtinen, and the gentleman from new york each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from florida. .
tippett to thank the gentleman for their support. i want to thank my good friend the gentleman from virginia, mr. connolly, for joining me in introducing this bipartisan resolution that has garnered 180 co-sponsors. many may not know this, mr. speaker, but mr. connolly has been working on these issues ever since he was a staffer for the senate foreign relations committee. i'm proud to have introduced house resolution 343, alongside my colleague from virginia that condemns china's ongoing, gruesome practice of harvesting organs from nonconsenting prisoners of conscience and religious and ethnic minorities. they have long faced persecution by the chinese communist party
and in 2015 comprised the largest portion of prisoners of conscience in china. i was extremely disaopponented to reed that the state department's latest human rights report for china quoted an unsubstan shated claims that any harvesting of orbegans from prison fores would now be voluntary. china is well known for getting the orbegans for transplants from executed prisoners, people depried of their freedom, unable to give their voluntary and informed consent to donate their organs. these are the basic preconditions for ethical organization -- organ donations which china rarely if ever meets. they do not comply with the requirement of the world health organization for transparency and traceability in organ procurement pathways and the
number of voluntary organ donations in china continues to be much lower than the reported number of transplants, let alone the number of unreported ones. all of this points to unethical practices at the very least and something much, much more inhumane and gruesome at the very worst. and leads us to conclude that ina's claim to have ceased illegal harvesting is a dubious one. the chinese regime's brutal oppression and human rights violations are well known but it is the horrific treatment of the falun gong practitioners that is egrieges but does not receive the attention it deserves. are wers of falun gong are particularly susceptible to a buse. it is latest reports -- if the
latest reports of china trying to conduct full body transplants are true, it could put these peaceful sing -- individuals in graverer dangers. last week, the "new york times" reported -- reported chinese doctors are looking to perform full body transplants. one has to wonder, mr. speaker, how will these doctors, how will these scientist conduct their research and experiments? they will likely look to their prisons and target prisoners of onscience and falun gong practicers specifically. china remains an international pariah that's long been dogged by issues yet its doctors remain undeterd by the horrid practice and plan on moving forward when they are ready. what will this mean for falun gong practitioners and other prisoners of conscience in china? i shudder to think of their fate as the result of these inhuman
experiments and practices. by passing this resolution, we can send a message to the chinese regime that we condemn this continued practice of persecution of falun gong practitioners and this sickening practice must stop, especially harvesting organs from nonconsenting individuals. i urge all my colleagues to support this resolution and with that, mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of our time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman reserves. the gentlewoman -- the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. engel: i rise in support of this measure and yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. engel: i thank chairman royce and congresswoman ros-lehtinen who introduced this legislation, very important piece of legislation. we just finished debate on a bill that would help us get a better handle on just how severe a problem organ trafficking is and help us figure out what's
needed to confront this challenge this resolution underscores trouble regular ports about the practice of organ trafficking, splisk in the people's republic of china. i've heard directly from some of my constituents about this and what's particularly unsettling is that this practice allegedly targeted prisoner -- prisoners of conscience including the falun gong and other religious or ethnic minorities. this represents a gross violation of human rights. these allegations are particularly egregious, authorities at chinese prisons targeting prisoners because of their religious beliefs an making a profit by trafficking these victim's organs. ky not think of hardly anything more disgusting than that. the accounts of these activities are gruesome and shocking and again we need to get to the bottom of this issue to see exactly what is going on. this measure calls on the
chinese government to seize the -- cease the practice of forced organ harvesting and end the persecution of falun gong practice -- practitioners and other prison noferse conscience. it also calls on the chinese government to allow an investigation into this issue and urges the state department to include an assessment of noncon ctioned, sentsule organ harvesting -- nonconsensual organ harvesting in their report. i'm pleased to support this measure and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentlewoman from florida is recognized. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, mr. speaker. i'm pleased to yield four minutes to the gentleman from new jersey, mr. smith, chairman of the foreign affairs subcommittee on africa, global health, global human rights and international organization. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for four minutes. mr. smith: mr. speaker, i thank my good friend and colleague, ileana ros-lehtinen for yielding.
i want to thank the chairman emeritus of the committee. these men and women who cannot speak for themselves, have offered unspeakable torture, some have survived. and to families who have lost loved ones in chinese prison camps that are springled throughout china. this legislation is an important step in bringing accountability and transparency to maybe the great crime of the 21st century. the seven-year effort to eliminate falun gong practice from china. it will be seen as one of the great horrors. the chinese government continues to insist that the accounts of religious persecution, forced abortion, arbitrary detention and organ harvesting from falun gong practicers are mere rumors. they refuse to even discuss
these issues in regular diplomatic dialogue and regularly jail and disbar lawyers who try to defend falun gong practitioners who expose the abuses committed by government employees. nevertheless, evidence is quickly mounting of the horrific crimes committed against falun gong practitioners, including this terrible practice of organ harvesting. over the years, congress has received credible information about this unethical and corrupt organ transplant system that operates in china. the chinese government is at more grossly negligent, likely grossly complicit in these crimes. huge amounts of money are made. we have received credible evidence that the actual number of orbegan transplants by china's hospitals remain underreported and that despite the chinese government's promises to the contrary, the number of prisoners who are killed and have their organs taken continues to rise.
shockingly, researchers david ilgore, david maddus and ethan gutman, conducted detailed investigation and estimated that between 45,000 to 65,000 falun gong practitioners were killed for their organs which then were sold for profit. 45,000 to 60,000 victims who had their organs stolen and their lives snuffed out by the chinese government officials. these estimates -- there might be new estimates that are higher. these researchers will unveil new findings next week at a theefering house foreign afares committee. let me remind members that the united states congress aren't the only ones who are bringing this terrible human rights abuse up. u.n. committee against torture -- have called for
accountability and transparency. the ileana ros-lehtinen resolution condemns this practice, calls on the government to end it, demands an immediate end to the 17-year persecution of the falun gong, encourages the medical community to help raise awareness about unethical organ transplant practices in china, calls on the people's republic of china to allow a credible, transparent and independent investigation into organ transplant abuses and then calls on the u.s. department of state to conduct a more detailed analysis on state-sanctioned orbegan harvesting from nonconsenting prisoners of conscience in its annual human rights report and calls on the government, our overnment, bar provisional pursuant to current law to
chinese and others engaged in coerced organ or bodily tissue transplantation. i want to thank ileana ross net len and mr. connolly for their work on this and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentlewoman from florida is recognized. ms. ros-lehtinen: i'm prepared to lose once mr. engel yields back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. engel: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. engel: a commitment of human rights to people around the world is a fundamental american value and pillar of our foreign policy system of when we hear reports of horrific abuses such as state sanctioned organ harvesting, we have a responsibility to determine the scope of the problem and respond. i want to thank ms. ros-lehtinen for her tenacity in bringing this forward. i want to thank mr. smith who is always there for human rights. i want to thank chairman royce again for allowing this bill to come forward. and again making this a bipartisan concern. i've heard from colleagues and constituents again and again
about grievous violations of human rights, that falun gong and other prisoners of conscience have endured at the hands of chinese authorities. we need to send a clear message that this sort of abuse is unacceptable. so again, i want to thank congresswoman ros-lehtinen for bringing our attention to this issue and bringing forward this measure. s that bill that everyone should vote for and i urge a yes vote and yield back the bance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentlewoman from florida is recognized. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is -- the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. ros-lehtinen: the united states has receded sadly from our role as promoters of human rights internationally. once a central part of u.s. foreign policy, we have witnessed the protection of human rights fall far down on our priority list as administrations have become too eager to make deals with despots and tyrants in places like iran,
cuba, and north korea. those who once looked to the united states to be the leader, the stand -- to stand up and protect those suffering, who are being denied their most basic and fundamental rights no longer view us as the voice for the voiceless. willing to stand up for those suffering around the world. shame on us, mr. speaker. because this failure to promote our ideals and principles leads to ruthless thugs who believe that they can get away with whatever they want and ultimately it increases the suffer offering the people that they exploit. the united states must once again make our core values and beliefs a central tenet of our foreign policy agenda in order to restore our credibility and to restore the faith that so many have in our ability to help bring about change for those who cannot protect themselves. passing this resolution today, mr. speaker, sends a clear signal to china that the united
states opposes its gross violations of human rights, particularly against the falun gong practitioners. they are so peaceful. they are so full of composure. they pose no threat to china. yet this ruthless dictator shipp forces them to commit unspeakable acts. and this bill sends a signal to countless others suffering around the world that the united states will once again make the protection of human rights a a priority. i urge my colleagues to join us, to support this resolution, support our ideals and values, support human rights, and help the practitioners of falun gong and with that, mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of our time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. the question is will the house suspend the rules and agree to house resolution 343 as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the
resolution is agreed to and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. the speaker pro tempore: proceedings will resume on motions to suspend the rules previously postponed. h.r. 4939 by the yeas and nays, h.r. 5312 by the yeas and nays. the first electronic vote will be conducted as a 15-minute vote. remaining electronic votes will be conducted as five-minute votes. the unfinished business is the request for a recorded vote on by mr. royce to pass h.r. 39 on which the yeas and nays are ordered. the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: a bill to increase engagement with the governments of the caribbean region, the caribbean community and the united states and the private sector of the civil society in both the united states and the caribbean and for other purposes. ifflet the question is will the
house suspend the rules and pass the bill as amended. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a 15--minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
the speaker pro tempore: on this vote, the yeas are 386, the nays are 6. 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. members will please take their seats. the chair would ask all present to rise for the purpose of a moment of silence.
the speaker: the chair asks that the house now observe a moment of silence in memory of the victims of the terrorist attack in orlando. the speaker: without objection, five-minute voting will continue. without objection, five-minute voting will continue. the unfinished business is the vote on the motion of the gentleman from illinois, mr. lahood, to suspend the rules and yeash.r. 5312 on which the and nays are ordered. the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 5312, to amend the act of 1991 to -- to
authorize activities for technology and research and for other purposes. the speaker: orders of -- order. is the gentleman stating a parliamentary inquiry? >> yes, mr. speaker. the speaker: the gentleman shall state his inquiry. >> i am really concerned that we today have a moment of silence and late they are week, the 17th -- the speaker: is the gentleman stating a parliamentary inquiry? >> yes. i am particularly interested about three pieces of legislation that have been filed. the speaker: the gentleman is not stating a parliamentary inquiry. the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 5312, a bill to amend the high performance computing act of 1991 to
authorize activities for support of networking and informing technology research and for other purposes. the speaker: the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill as amended. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]